Tag Archive | "KYB"

WINTER BLUES? GET READY FOR SPRING TIME

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WINTER BLUES? GET READY FOR SPRING TIME


New apps and wider distribution make for a better future for spring stockists. CAT Ed Greg Whitaker reports. 

Heavy rollers

As this month’s topic is springs, we thought we’d get on the road to visit two different spring suppliers to find out what they do first hand.

CZECH FACTORY
Our first visit was all the way to the Czech Republic to see the European production facility of KYB. Situated outside the town of Pardubice, two plants produce both coil springs and dampers. Established in 2003, the plants enjoyed large extensions a few years ago, allowing the spring factory to push 2.2m coils springs through the goods out door every year. The capacity is set to rise as extensions built on both plants in the last few years give the company room to grow.

We had a long tour of the spring factory and were fascinated to see how great machines twist bar into springs, which are then tempered and shot-peened before being laser etched and electrostatically coated. On our visit, the products being produced were being made with taper wire, although side- loading (banana) springs and other designs are also produced in the facility. Shot- peening with the correct medium is apparently critical

in producing a strong spring. Units from factories that haven’t been through this process, or have been blasted with the wrong medium can be a third weaker than those that have been correctly produced.

KYB hasn’t been slacking in investing in new technology. While were were in Pardubice we learnt about a new app, which unusually is for garages to show to customers. The app, named Suspension Solutions, is split into two parts. Part one is to help the technician explain to the motorist what issues have been identified with their vehicle’s suspension and which components need to be replaced. It sends the driver a text message with links to video clips which explain the dangers and risks associated with worn shock absorbers, coil springs, mounting and protection components. Part two is for showing the completed repair which a garage has carried out on a customer’s vehicle. It can send a text message to the driver with a before and after photo of the work carried out.

While the app can be viewed on the customer’s phone, garages will also be sent a type of VR headset, which is simply
a frame in which a phone slots in to. The end result is astonishingly good, and an interesting way of involving the customer in the work.

YORKSHIRE HUB
Meanwhile, we were interested to visit Lesjofors’ new facility in Huddersfield. The firm was keen to get its logistics based from one site, and so constructed this site measuring 65,000 sq ft situated right near the motorway network.

On CAT, we love a good warehouse and were fascinated to see how the design allowed use of the full height of the building, which left room for future expansion. Both Kilen and Lesjofors brand springs are stocked in the warehouse (Kilen was acquired by the parent in 1996) and leaf springs, gas struts for boots and bonnets, as well as sports lowering packs
are stocked alongside the regular coil springs.

Slightly less centrally located, the firm has a UK factory in Cornwall. It produced road springs under the Kilen springs brand, while other production takes place in Sweden where both companies originated. The factory doesn’t just produce car springs – indeed, it will produce to order any size and application, ranging from the type of spring found inside a biro, right up to the giant coils found on a mining truck.

Lesjofors has also recently published a phone application. The app allows professional users to search its catalogue by vehicle, with an option to search for country-specific references. You will also be look up technical articles when they’ve been uploaded.

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STAGE IS SET FOR AUTOMECHANIKA SHANGHAI

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STAGE IS SET FOR AUTOMECHANIKA SHANGHAI


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA SHANGHAI

Asia’s automotive industry is undergoing rapid technological changes, thanks to the world’s ever-growing consumer demand for new energy vehicles, faster workshop speeds, increased customisation options and improved in-car technologies. Many of the region’s aftermarket enterprises are subsequently looking for a more technological edge, more environmentally friendly products and processes, and superior repair and management standards.

This opportunity is already being brought to life at Automechanika Shanghai, Asia’s largest trade fair dedicated to the global automotive service industry. This year, the fair will welcome around 6,000 exhibitors and 130,000 visitors, and is also expected to house some of the latest advancements from both the global and domestic automotive industries.

Take for example Astrace, a Chinese glass window film and paint developer which has various brands within the aftermarket sector. The company is exhibiting for the first time at Automechanika Shanghai 2017, with the goal of expanding into some of Asia’s most promising regions.

Mr Kris Yang, Manager of International Business at Astrace, explains how Asia has a huge role to play in the sector’s future growth: “Our operations are already very well established in China, and like many other players in the aftermarket sector, we’re looking to broaden our horizons to the likes of Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. These regions are all experiencing a growing presence in the sector, and with the help of Automechanika Shanghai we’re hoping to capitalise on this growth.”

“Asia’s aftermarket industry, and its film sector in particular, is experiencing more and more developments in the likes of heat blocking, UV protection, reflectivity and safety. What’s more, the industry is looking to take these innovations a step further by adding even more value for consumers. This includes the likes of films which can harvest energy to power cars, and intelligent glass displays which can display information to passengers, for instance.” Mr Yang added.

Similarly, fellow exhibiting business KYB, a shock absorber manufacturer, says that the Asian market, and China in particular, is constantly demanding a higher level of technical products and expertise. “Thanks to the growing consumer need for smarter vehicles and electric cars, China is looking to continually grow in terms of design, research, development and component manufacturing,” says Mr Lijun Fu, Deputy General Manager of Marketing at KYB Trading (Shanghai).

Explaining how this can be a big opportunity for exhibitors at the fair, Mr Fu added: “For us players in the aftermarket sector, this is good news because it boosts and diversifies the demand for parts, components, repair and maintenance. Thanks to this demand, we’re exploring more advanced technologies. Our electronic automobile suspension system, for example, can lower a car’s body when it stops, and lift it up again when the engine starts. It can also adjust the suspension system based on road conditions – which can even be done through in-car control and mobile apps.”

Another company looking to take advantage of this trend is adhesives business Henkel, who says that Asia’s growing numbers in terms of car sales and ownership is also an attractive prospect for the sector. “Compared to the overseas market, the growth momentum in the Asian auto industry appears to be more obvious, with car ownership in China alone surpassing 200 million in March 2017,” says Mr Shaohua Fang, APAC Vehicle Repair & Maintenance Business Director for Henkel.

“Thanks to this, as well as the growing expectation for higher quality and improved service, the aftermarket sector in the region expects a 30% year-on-year growth in the coming years, becoming a trillion dollar industry by end of 2018,” Mr Fang added. He expressed how Automechanika Shanghai is an “ideal platform” for businesses to keep abreast of these trends and to gain stronger positions in the region.

Industry players look to magnify environmental awareness

The shift towards new energy and improved service in Asia’s auto industry is also part of a bigger market trend in environmental awareness. With new energy vehicles in China expected to represent at least one fifth of car sales by 2025, a growing number of industry sectors are looking to improve their carbon footprint – including many key players in the aftermarket business.

Eneos, a Japanese oil and lubricant manufacturer, says Asia’s role in providing a more sustainable industry is immeasurable. “In terms of automotive lubricants, things like pollution control and low carbon emissions are some of the key development trends in what is such a prosperous region,” says Mr Yukiyoshi Takahashi, Director & President at the JX Nippon Oil & Energy brand by Eneos.

The company says that consequently, regulations on exhaust emissions are expected to become even stricter in the region, along with increased requirements on environmental protection. Many exhibitors at the fair are already adapting to this shift in focus for the industry.

“ENEOS has been committed to introducing an environmentally friendly and low viscosity ‘0W-20’ motor oil, which can increase performance by 2% – 3%. For a car driving 50,000 km per year, this can save around RMB 1,000 in fuel costs,” says Mr Takahashi.

“It also greatly reduces engine friction, so that the engine can maintain a stable and efficient movement. This helps reduce the risk of engine failure and prolong the repair period. We firmly believe that these types of products, which offer both high quality and fuel efficiency, will draw more and more attention to environmental awareness at Automechanika Shanghai this year.”

Keeping in line with exhibitors looking to showcase their sustainability credentials is coating supplier Oerlikon Balzers. The company says its coating technologies on display during the course of Automechanika Shanghai can help improve energy consumption levels and the overall performance of vehicles, as well as reduce wear and friction for parts. Visitors to the fair can witness a range of Oerlikon’s new coating solutions for ABS and ESP systems, which assist in reducing environmental impact.

Ms Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, says this aspect of the automotive sector has become one of the most important parts of the fair in recent years. “It’s exciting to see so many of our exhibitors looking to promote their work in creating a greener industry, particularly considering the growing environmental concerns in Asia. When these businesses are developing more and more technological advancements for the automotive sector, it’s important that they’re doing it in a responsible way.”

Automechanika Shanghai will take place from 29 November – 2 December at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. With over 130,000 visitors and 6,000 exhibitors, this year will see the fair expanded to 330,000sqm. A new REIFEN zone will showcase the very latest tyre, wheel and rim products, while upgrades to the E-mobility & Infrastructure zone will see an even stronger focus on electronics, systems, and future solutions.

A number of key industry players, including Autoyong, ADAYO, Astrace, CARZONE, Eneos, Fangxing Rubber, Fleetguard, Fuchs, Henkel, Huitian, Isuzu, Linglong, NEXTEV, SINOTRUK, TEN-D Energies and Zhengao Auto will participate at the fair for the first time. Meanwhile, exhibitors returning to the show include the likes of ACDelco, Asia-Pacific Electrical, BAIC, BASF, Bullsone, China Changan, Continental Automotive, ContiTech, CRRC, Cummins, Dayco, DENSO, Interstate Batteries, Launch, MA-FRA, Mahle, MANN+HUMMEL, Mobiletron, MOTUL, SATA, Schaeffler, SINOTRUK, SK, Snap-on, SONAX, Valeo, Valvoline, VIE and ZF.

For more information about the show, please visit www.automechanika-shanghai.com or contact Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, +852 2802 7728 / auto@hongkong.messefrankfurt.com .

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